Photo of the Month Dec 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For December we chose an image from our Patagonia Photo Workshop created by Greg Ness. Greg has photographed wildlife in Patagonia several times and was delighted with his condor encounter on this trip. We hope you enjoy Greg’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to December 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Greg Ness

Greg, dressed for the weather, at the Mirador del Condores (Condor Viewpoint)

The Story… 

It was humorous. When we arrived on scene we looked like a cautious infantry unit. Everyone took 5 steps forward. Then everyone took 5 more steps. The condor was eye balling us the whole time. It must have been thinking, “What are they doing?”

I was using the Sony A1 because I was hoping for a flight shot. I figured if he did fly it would be a very quick shot. I got a couple of decent flight shots but they were kind of at an angle that did not show off his wings.

I loved the bird just sitting there. What an interesting face. You have to ask yourself, what is it about that bird? A face that could stop a truck. Why is it designed like that. I am sure bird experts have some interesting theories on that. I wanted to show the interesting features.

December 2022 Photo of the Month

The light was just right. We had intermittent sunshine. It illuminated the grass right in front of the bird. This made for a nice counterpoint to the dark body of the bird.

I would like to know why it sat there as long as it did. It must have been eating something.

After I got home I did some research. The condor is the biggest flying bird in the world if you combine wingspan (up to 10 ft) and weight (up to 30 pounds). We saw them all over the place. With the Patagonian winds they barely have to flap their wings to take off.

EXIF Data:

Sony AI Sony 200-600 mm f5-6.3 lens at 600 mm

ISO 500 1/2000 sec f6.3

Aperture Priority Mode

Exposure compensation -.03


The view of Mt Fitzroy when heading into Chalten

About Photographing in Patagonia

One of the things that intrigued me about Patagonia is its ties to our past. Anyone who lives in Colorado asks themselves, wouldn’t it be fun to transport yourself back to the Old West. Some one described Patagonia as being like the Old West – large plains, mountain ranges, dramatic weather.

It’s big and wild there. It’s also hard to get to a lot of the places. It keeps the majority of the tourists out. You have to work for photographs in Patagonia. Even if you get to the locations, you can spend days trying to get a picture of Fitzroy or El Chalten and never see it.

This means you have to have patience. The last day we were in Torres del Paine. The calm waters were incredible. How many people have seen that before?

Calm waters at Hosteria Pehoe, our hotel for 3 days

Greg’s Tips for Photographing in Patagonia

Tip 1: I took two rented lenses. This was not a great idea. Know your lenses and know your camera equipment really well. If Marcos is sprinting across the pond on his horse, you may only get one shot of it.

Zoom lenses are really valuable to have. A condor is sitting on the ground, but it could fly at any minute. My suggestions are: 100-500mm and 70-200 and 24-70mm. Take two bodies: anything could happen.

Tip 2: The weather was like last time. It would almost knock you over one day and the next day, no wind. Shoot a lot on the good days. Consider black and white for the cloudy days.

Tip 3: I liked using black and white for the gaucho photos. It fits with the idea of a hard to get to place that is almost lost in time. It has not changed that much in the last 9 years. But it will slowly change.

Patagonian Grey Fox at ground level

On Greg’s Horizon:

Wanaka in New Zealand

Lofoten in Norway – want to return for hiking

Arizona for a month – both hiking and photography

Polar regions -Greenland, Iceland

Cruise to Northern Greenland

Faroe Islands

Madeira in Spain

Greg photographing a Porcelan Orchid

Workshop News

Few spots left: Masking Made Easy: Online Editing Class. Brush up on your editing skills and learn how to use new masking features in either PhotoShop or Lightroom as well as older features like luminosity masks. Click here to learn more.

Few Spots Left: Old Car City Workshop from March 30-April 2, 2023. Photograph classic cars in the Georgia hardwoods. Learn about speed lights for creative effect. Click here to read more.

Where are Tom and Cree?

We are just back from a personal trip to Jackson, Wyoming. We photographed Great Gray Owls, Moose and Coyotes and had a splendid ski in front of the Tetons on New Years Day.

We hope you have a wonderful 2023 and find plenty of time to take photos. Thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Photo of the Month November 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For November we chose an image from our Botswana and Zimbabwe Photo Workshop created by Alex Sneiders. Alex has photographed wildlife in Africa several times and was happy to finally see a Serval Cat on this trip. We hope you enjoy Alex’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to November 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Alex Sneiders

Alex in action on the Chobe River in Botswana

The Story… 

I was enjoying the scene. I was fascinated by the vultures waiting in the wings on the tree. I visualized the clouds as they were coming in and the impending rain. I tried to capture all of that in the photo.

The dead elephant had a whole pride of lions enthralled with eating. They totally ignored us.

November 2022 Photo of the Month

I was captivated by the elephant being in one corner of the frame and the vultures in another corner.

I shot in Infrared with the intent of shooting a couple of unique images. This was my favorite so far.

I converted the camera with Lifepixel. It is much easier to shoot IR with a mirrorless camera. The focus is automatic with mirrorless but not with a SLR or DSLR.

I was trying to do a color conversion at first. I found that with the color conversion, there was too great of a departure from what it actually looked like. I find that the black and white versions frequently come out elegantly.


EXIF Data:

Nikon Z7 with IR Conversion, Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 lens shot at 51 mm

ISO 800 1/2500 sec f4

Aperture Priority Mode


About Photographing in Botswana and Zimbabwe

The difference between these countries and my previous safaris was mainly the Chobe River in Botswana. There were lower views of the wildlife and faster action.

There was a different variety of animals, particularly in the bird life. That was the highlight of the trip for me.

When using the pre-release feature while photographing Malachite Kingfishers, I learned that the jpeg images are quite good. You have to be patient and keep your finger on the shutter button.

When using Pre-release, you have to cull through all of your images to find a few pieces of gold.

Malachite Kingfisher captured with Nikon’s Pre-release

Alex’s Tips for Photographing on Safari:

Tip 1: Bring lots of cards. I took 45 thousand photos on this trip. That is a record for me. Using Pre-release with the Nikon Z9 added a ton of jpegs

Tip 2: Be patient

Tip 3: Practice focusing. Play around with different focus patterns modes like 3D, wide area large and single point. Practice switching between them as well.

Low key giraffe from Splash Camp in Botswana

On Alex’s Horizon:

Antarctica

Greenland

Namibia

Mongolia

Indonesia

Faroe Islands

Pantanal

Svalbard

Galapagos

Alex getting to know the wildlife in Zimbabwe

Workshop News

Just Added: Masking Made Easy: Online Editing Class. Join us in mid January to brush up on your editing skills and learn how to use all the new masking features in either PhotoShop or Lightroom. Click here to learn more.

Space is still available on our Old Car City Workshop from March 30-April 2, 2023. Photograph classic cars in the Georgia hardwoods. Learn about speed lights for creative effect. Click here to read more.

Where are Tom and Cree?

We are traveling in Argentina and Chile right now with our Patagonia Workshop. Look for updates on social media.

Enjoy the holidays. Thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Photo of the Month – October 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For October we chose an image from our Acadia Fall Colors Workshop created by Traci Rickman. Traci is a real estate photographer and is equally at home photographing landscapes. We hope you enjoy Traci’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to October 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Traci Rickman

Traci in the lobster town of Bernard, Maine

The Story… 

I almost missed the window of opportunity. I didn’t have a lot of time because I had stayed back to photograph the Bubbles. Everyone else headed over to capture the fog earlier than I did.

The sun was filtering in from the right side of the frame. By the time I arrived, Tom was saying “Here it comes.” I set up and started shooting quickly. You can just see a bit of sun filtering into the scene below the fog.

I just love the color in this, mm mm mm!

I tried to fill up my frame with color.

There were more grass clusters in the foreground, but they had hot spots on them from the sun coming in. I took them out with Lightroom and PhotoShop to get rid of some of the hot grass.

October 2022 Photo of the Month

EXIF Data:

Nikon D500, Nikon 70-200mm lens shot at 70 mm

F16, 1/10 sec, ISO 100 on a tripod

Exposure Compensation -2.0

Aperture Mode


About Photographing in Acadia National Park

I love Acadia. I love Bar Harbor. This was the second time I’ve been there. I was excited to go back with Tom and Cree.

The first time I went I was a bit overwhelmed.

I felt like I missed a lot of the shots. I did more artistoc compositions. When I got back home my husband said “Did you look at rocks the whole time?” This time I wanted to get more iconic shots.

I focused on shooting what spoke to me. I realized that in the past I was shooting what I thought other people wanted to see.

On this trip I wanted to redeem myself!

Sunrise at Otter Rock

Traci’s Tips for Photographing Landscapes:

Tip 1: Photograph what speaks to you. Other people will find other subjects to focus on. Find your own subjects.

Tip 2: Broaden your view. Don’t get so focused on what is in your camera viewfinder.

Look behind you. Look around. I will often take out my cellphone and see things differently with it. It helps me see the larger view. Then I’ll take out my camera…..

Tip 3: Try moving three feet to the side or one foot vertically.

When I photographed the foggy scene (below) I decided to walk down the road from where everyone else was standing. I was really drawn in by the grasses and the lines leading into the red tree. Instead of shooting a tight shot with just the red tree, I decided I liked this composition better.

I do this a lot in real estate photography. I’ll move to the right or left by just one foot when photographing a room. Often time this move makes the shot.

Foggy scene in Acadia National Park

On Traci’s Horizon:

Costa Rica

Redwoods National Park

Congratulations Traci

Workshop News

We added another Acadia Fall Colors Workshop for October 2025. Just 2 spaces left. Click here to learn more.

By popular demand we also added our Old Car City Workshop from March 3-April 2, 2023. Photograph classic cars in the Georgia hardwoods. Learn about speed lights for creative effect. Click here to read more.

Finally, we will be heading to Oaxaca, Mexico in January 2024 to explore Day of the Dead inspired portraits and colorful travel photos Click here to read more.

Where are Tom and Cree?

We have been enjoying a few weeks at home in Fort Collins. Our last two workshops of 2022 are in Botswana & Zimbabwe and then on to Argentina and Chile for our Patagonia Workshop. We will keep you updated on social media.

Looking forward to winter and the holidays. Thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Photo of the Month September 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For September we chose an image from our Lofoten Norway Workshop created by Lauren King. Lauren was in the right spot at the right time. As a portrait photographer Lauren immediately was drawn to the couple on the beach. We hope you enjoy Lauren’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to September 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Lauren King

Lauren King in Lofoten, Norway

The Story… 

We were all on the beach. We wanted to make sure we had lined up for the shot without other people being in the shot. I had my super-wide lens on to capture the full arch of the creek.

I have been trying to work on shooting from different angles. I was holding my camera above my head and finger touching on the screen. Then this couple walked into the scene.

I waited for the couple to find their spot. Then…..voila! It just happened.

September 2022 Photo of the Month

I have been working on sunstars and sunstar placement in my images. Getting a sunstar right behind the little mountain with the couple in the foreground was my goal.

I did very little in post process. I smoothed some of the sand in the foreground. I also worked on slightly cropping the image so that the sunstar was in the right place and the couple’s shadow was still in the frame.


EXIF Data:

Nikon Z6ii, Nikon 14-24 lens shot at 15 mm

F22, 1/100 sec, ISO 100

Manual Mode


Lauren’s Tips for Photographing Travel Images:

Tip 1: Think outside of the box. Think about what people are not getting. What can you shoot that is not right in front of your face? What is not obvious?

Tip 2: Use the reticulating screen. If you use the screen when shooting people, they may not realize you are taking a photo. This means they will be less self-conscious in the image.


Fall color on a Norwegian Fjord

About Photographing in the Lofoten Islands

Oh my goodness, it was amazing!

I felt like we were lucky with the weather. I expected a lot of greens from Norway. I did not expect all the reds and yellows at ground level. We photographed at a small lake one day and I could have stayed there all day.

Lofoten is very pristine. It was nice to be out in the fresh air. From the grand views to the tiny flowers – there was always something to shoot. There were worlds within worlds.

Looking for what is not obvious in Nusfjord

Cabin Shoots:

Everybody was at Nusfjord and went up the hill above the yellow cabin. It was muddy and I did not think I would make it up there.

I told myself to go back down and find something that no body else had seen. I went in between the buildings and this is what I found (image above).

I did very little in post process for this image. I cropped a small bit. I also removed a person who was standing below one of the windows in front of the yellow cabin.

In my mind this was a modern take on Norway even though they are old cabins.

At Statles Rorbuer, where we stayed I went out by myself on an afternoon break. Even before I got to Norway, I knew I wanted to try selective color on the cabins. I saw the line-up of cabins and knew it was the right one for my image. I used a color range mask to select the cabins and worked with Cree on the editing.

Selective Color at Statles Rorbuer

On Lauren’s Horizon:

Inagua Island, Bahamas for flamingos

France near Paris

Route 66 West

Austria and Switzerland

Everywhere else without snakes!

We are headed back to the Lofoten Islands in Norway this winter on February 18-25 for snowy landscapes and the Northern Lights. Space is still available. Click here to read more.

Where are Tom and Cree?

We are looking forward to our next photo adventure in Acadia National Park. Mid-October is the perfect time to be in Maine for red fall leaves and we are headed there next week with a full group of photographers.

To see our 2023 schedule, click here

We hope you are enjoying a great fall. Thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Photo of the Month August 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For August we chose an image from our Galapagos Workshop created by Ned Reese. We hope you enjoy Ned’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to August 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Ned Reese

Ned Reese on Espanola Island in the Galapagos

The Story… 

I had about 70 images of the night heron. Going through them, that one was in the middle of the string of images.

It was stunning when I brought it up in Photo Mechanic. The image is almost untouched. I did very little to improve it. It was almost an accident.

I like tight framed shots of wildlife, shots of the face, with interesting facial expressions. Animals are not too distant from humans. You can read their faces. You could put a lot of captions on that frame.

August 2022 Photo of the Month

When we landed on Genovese Island, there were birds everywhere. It was early on in the trip. It was kind of like taking a drink from a fire hydrant. There was so much going on around us.

This was a different kind of shooting for me. There was so much activity and life everywhere we turned. On Everest I learned to step back and take in the environment before starting to shoot. You cannot do that in the Galapagos. I found myself grabbing the camera and just trying to be cognizant of all of the correct settings while shooting.

I like this image more every time I look at it. It speaks to what I was trying to get, an interesting facial expression and tack sharp details. I have been doing a lot of photography recently, listening, being around Tom and Cree. My photography has improved by magnitudes.


EXIF Data:

Nikon D850, Nikon 80-400 lens shot at 310 mm

F10, 1/2000 sec, ISO 3200

Manual Mode, auto ISO


Ned’s Tips for Photographing Wildlife:

Take a lot of shots

Auto ISO is key to shooting in manual. Tom insisted I try it and it was awkward at first. It made it much easier in the long run. You learn more about your camera too.


Sultry Sealion

About Photographing in the Galapagos

To be honest, at first Galapagos was just another workshop. I have been working more on my technique than on locations. Everybody talks about the Galapagos. I wasn’t prepared for the reality of being on the ground and photographing there.

In retrospect, it was in the top 5 of all my favorite photo locations.

It was special in ways I am still learning about. There is so much life there. It is so prevalent, everywhere. It’s like wall paper. On bear trips you have to go out and find the bears. On this trip, animals are everywhere.

The sailboat made it even more special. I’d go back but only on a sailboat. Darwin and Fitzroy explored the Galapagos in a ship. This was an associative experience for me. I can’t image doing it any other way.

Flamingos on Rabida Island

Flamingo Shoot:

We hiked into the pond and flamingos were all over the place. It was a sunny day with a lot of contrast and there was not much activity. We decided to walk to the end of the pond and it looked like they were going to do something. My arm was getting tired from holding up my 500mm lens for so long….

When they took off, I took 30-40 images of them flying. This image was a statistical success. It had the right light, good composition and everything was sharp.

Sealion in the surf on Rabida Island

On Ned’s Horizon:

New Zealand

Africa: Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa

Alaska

Antarctica

“I just like to go….”

Ned photographing a Giant Land Tortoise

Where are Tom and Cree?

With Fall right around the corner, we are headed to Alaska for our Brown Bear Safari in Katmai National Park. We are back home just a few days before heading to Norway and on to New Zealand in September.

With so much travel in September we will do our best to answer your questions while on the road. This will be our busiest month since starting our business five years ago. By October things will slow down and we will be in the office more often. Thanks for your patience. We are almost caught up from all the postponed trips from 2020 and 2021.

To see our 2023 schedule, click here

We hope you are enjoying a great summer. Thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Photo of the Month July 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For July we chose an image from our Glacier Workshop created by Eric Lacey. Eric traveled with us to the North American Indian Days in Browning, Montana. We hope you enjoy Eric’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to July 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Eric Lacey

Portrait of Eric by Kim Lafleur with a f1.2 portrait lens

The Story… 

I was looking for an opportunity to photograph a Native American person. I wanted to minimize all the distractions in the background. I was paying as much attention to what was in the background then to what the boy was doing.

Everyone at the event was phenomenally cooperative.

I took 4 or 5 photos with the boy standing in this position. I liked this one the most. He looks contemplative.

Photo of the Month July 2022

Aperture of f2.8: The tepees in the background give it a sense of place. I wanted enough bokeh in the background to blur it but also I wanted the viewer to be able to tell what it is.

Shutter Speed 1/8000: It was a bright sunny day so I shot at a really high shutter speed (1/8000 sec) This is the highest my camera would allow.

Exposure compensation of -1: I always shoot with some negative exposure compensation if I am shooting in aperture mode. I prefer lightening up an image rather than darkening it down in post process. I didn’t want to blow out any of the highlights.

This was the first time I used my mirrorless for portrait work. I was pleased with how it performed. I just love the EVF info and being able to see the histogram in real time. It simplifies the actual shooting.


EXIF Data:

Canon R5, Canon 70-200 RF 2.8 shot at 95mm

F2.8, 1/8000 sec, ISO 200

Aperture Mode, Exposure Comp of -1


Tips for Portraits:

Keep shooting – you will end up with a lot that aren’t great. Increase your keeper ratio by shooting plenty of frames.

Control the background – I didn’t move around the subject much. I knew I wanted the tepees in the background as a frame behind him.

Control the light – we had strong overhead sunlight, so I had to work with that. I softened the light in post. Luckily his headdress didn’t cast too much of a shadow on his face.


Sunrise at Swiftcurrent Lake in GNP

About Photographing in and near Glacier

Glacier exceeded my expectations photographically.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect because Glacier is less well known as a national park. The vistas aren’t as iconic. Compare it to Yosemite. Everyone knows about Half Dome and El Cap. I was very pleasantly surprised.

As for Browning and Indian Days, I thought it was one of the best parts of the trip. The photography was very different for me. Aside from the photography, I really enjoyed just watching. The remembrance tributes were really moving.

Taking portraits was a great way to expand my photographic check list. It was something we hadn’t done before. I took hundreds of photos and only had two keepers. It was really a blast!

Eric learned his lesson with this image

My Lesson Learned:

We went out the first morning and we had a beautiful pink sunrise. I thought the shoot was over and packed everything up and headed to the car. As I was walking up the hill, I heard Tom say, “Look at the light”.

I ran back down and unpacked everything. I used my ND grad filter to darken the sky in this image.

I learned that you don’t pack up until you’re sure the show is over!


On Eric’s Horizon:

Pantanal in Brazil

Puffins on Machias Seal Island off the coast of Maine

Oregon Coast & Redwoods

Tanzania

Eric and Kim photographing horses on route to Browning, Montana

Where are Tom and Cree?

As you read this we are sailing around the Galapagos Islands with a group on a three masted sailboat. We will be back in the office from August 8-12 and then off to Greenland with Strabo Tours to photograph enormous icebergs in Disko Bay.

Want to join us for an international adventure? We have a few spots open:

New Zealand Sept 22-Oct 3, 2022

Norway Sept 11-18, 2022

Patagonia Nov 29-Dec 9, 2022

We hope you are having a great summer. Thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Photo of the Month – May 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For May we chose an image from our Texas Birds Workshop created by Carolyn Johnson. We hope you enjoy Carolyn’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to May 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Carolyn Johnson

Carolyn and her daughter Marni in Bryce National Park

The Story … 

The bronzed cowbird was on the perch near the cactus and I was focused on him. The green jay came in and I saw him mid air. I kept the focal point on the cowbird and just kept pushing the shutter button.

At 30 frames per second, you can hardly miss!

This photo happened because of the Sony A1. I was on a photo outing with Artie Morris. He explained all the manual settings to me on an outing to photograph pelicans. The camera has an amazing dot that tracks the birds’ eyes. This feature took all of my frustration out of wildlife photography. In the past, images were never as sharp as I wanted them to be.

Now I can’t decide which mages to delete because they are all good.

Having a gimbal on the tripod also helped. It makes all the difference. I can no longer hold the weight of a longer lens like I used to.

May 2022 Photo of the Month

I decided to send the image of the green jay and cowbird to Bay Photo to get a metal print. Tom mentioned that he liked Bay Photo and especially the metal prints. When it arrived, I liked the result so much that I had 9 more metal bird prints made.

They arrived yesterday and I have them all over my kitchen table to figure out a good layout.


EXIF Data:

Sony A1 with a 200-600 mm lens , shot at 571mm

F6.3, 1/4000 sec, ISO 2000

Manual Mode, Spot Focus

Male Cardinal and Male Pyrrhuloxia sharing a perch

About Photographing Birds in South Texas

I liked both ranches. The owners were so careful with details and knew exactly what to do to get the birds there.

My favorite bird was Darth Vader – the bronzed cowbird. I loved when he was doing his mating dance. He has the most fabulous color of blue on his wings.

I had never shot from a blind before. I live on 4 acres in the shrub oak in California. My son in law has a back hoe. I think a blind is in my future.

Black Crested Titmouse

Tips for Bird Photography:

Don’t be afraid of using high ISO settings. In the past higher ISOs would create grainy and pixelated photos. The new technology has made it possible to shoot at high ISO settings and still get great photos. I use Topaz Denoise on all the photos I take with high ISO settings.


On Carolyn’s Horizon

Eagles in Chilkat, Alaska

Roseate Spoonbills in Florida

Galapagos Islands

Carolyn in the orchards at Capitol Reef

We are headed to Nome Alaska next with a small group to photograph musk oxen and arctic birds. After that we are headed to the South Dakota Badlands and Glacier National Park.

We have 2 spaces available on our Bears and Glaciers Workshop. It will be prime time for Spring cubs July 11-16 click here to learn more.

Welcome to summer and thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Photo of the Month – March 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For March we chose an image from a dog sled photoshoot on our Fairbanks Northern Lights Workshop created by Jerry Bush. We hope you enjoy Jerry’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to March 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Jerry Bush

Jerry Bush in Alaska

The Story … 

It has to start with our location. We were in the right spot thanks to Tom and Cree.

It was a beautiful spot. My goal was to get shots of the full sled first, and then get close up action shots of the dogs. Fortunately we had four different chances to photograph the dogs running by.

The first time around I just focused on getting the full dog team and the musher in the elements – the snow and the trees in the background.

When I went for the close up shots I didn’t see the tongues when I was photographing. I noticed the tongues were wagging all over the place when I went back through the images later. Even the dogs in the back had tongues wagging.

March 2022 Photo of the Month

Sometimes I struggle with finding the best image when I have hundreds to choose from. I use the grid view in Lightroom and bring the images up to a very large size. I go through them quickly the first time and use the X key to reject the images that are not in focus.

I use the compare mode after that and think about what I was trying to accomplish. Wow, I wasn’t shooting for a tongue shot – but there it is.

Jerry’s backed off version of the same scene

On the action shot there wasn’t much editing needed. I brought the highlights down and adjusted the exposure a bit for the snow. On my full sled image I brought down the saturation in the background to give it an aged look. I also cropped more than in the first image.


EXIF Data:

Sony A7 R4 with a 70-200 mm lens at 200 mm

F3.5, 1/1250 sec, ISO 400

Aperture Priority


About photographing in Alaska in the winter

I absolutely loved it. When Deb picked me up at the airport, I am sure she was ready for me to stop talking about it by the time we got home.

It’s beautiful. It’s unique. If you don’t go to Alaska, you just don’t see that kind of environment.

It was cold. Fortunately it was not as cold as it usually is in Fairbanks. There were times it was so cold that it was hard for me to feel the controls on the camera.

It is interesting shooting with so much snow in the frame. The camera makes adjustments to middle grays because of all the snow. You have to tweak the exposure in the images to accommodate for that.

Between the dogs, the ice carving and of course, the aurora, the variety was awesome. I love everything about Alaska.

Jerry’s image of Northern Lights on top of Charlie Dome

Jerry’s tips for photographing dog sledding:

1) It is all about capturing the face. At our first dog sled shoot, I cut off ears and paws in the frames – and they were throw aways. I’m a dog lover and I learned it is all about showing the dog’s face.

2) In your action shots, look for open mouths. Teeth and tongues make really interesting shots.

3) Look for dogs that are posing. If they are just sitting there, it will not be as interesting. Dogs are natural posers. Look for a face that is bending over a fence or a dog that is jumping up. Get them to do something.

4) I learned that a low perspective is so important. It’s a perspective that you don’t see that often. On Day 1 I saw Tom shooting on his stomach. After that I did the same thing.

From the World Ice Carving Contest in Fairbanks – by Jerry Bush

On Jerry’s Horizon

Iceland

Norway

Banff

Olympic National Park

Portraits

Jerry connecting at the kennel

Interested in photographing northern lights? We have two trips to Lofoten, Norway in the next 12 months with chances of seeing northern light on both: September 11-18, 2022 (for warmer temps) and February 18-25 (for hardy folks)

We are both off to Sicily, Italy for a few weeks with Strabo Photo Tours. We look forward to photographing rustic coastal villages and eating plenty of cannolis on the largest island on the Mediterranean Sea. We have space on our May trip to Southern Spain if you would like to join us in Europe this year.

Enjoy your early spring and thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Photo of the Month – February 2022

At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For February, we chose an image from Death Valley National Park created by Mike Foxworthy. We hope you enjoy Mike’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to February 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Mike Foxworthy

Mike in Death Valley National Park

The Story … 

My first impression when I arrived at the Borax Works was that it was going to be a challenge. At first, I was not that impressed, especially when I saw the fence.

I walked around it and started looking at the details. I asked myself, ” How can I shoot something unique?”

I got more into it as I photographed it. I started looking at it in a different way. I noticed the details and the workmanship. Those wheels were built with rivets and without the use of modern tools. I started photographing the textures and I found them so interesting.

I started by photographing the wagon straight on. I found the spokes to be really interesting because it had so many details. The nut was rusty and there was interesting contrast with the wood.

Shooting straight on to emphasize textures

Then I wanted to give it some depth of field and a different look. I thought the wheels were the star of the show. They are the work horses of a wagon. I could imagine them going through the rough roads coming out west.

When you look down the row of wheels, you can see that the wheels aren’t the same size. Some are large, some are small. I found the shot to be challenging because I wanted to show the details in all of the wheels.

February 2022 Photo of the Month

I chose to do a focus stack at F11. I created 4 images at F11 and put them together in PhotoShop. I often use this technique for landscapes when I want to capture the details throughout the scene.

I ended up cropping the image and burning a bit on the bottom. The mountains on the right were a bit bright so I burned them as well.

I gave it an Old West flavor by using a profile in the editing process. I kept playing with them until I found one I really liked.


EXIF Data:

Nikon D850 with a 70-200 mm lens at 70 mm

F11, 1/60 sec, ISO 64, Exp Comp -0.3

Aperture Priority


About photographing at Death Valley National Park

I loved it. It gives you a variety of photographic subjects. I was glad that Tom revised our schedule to take advantage of the dunes without footsteps after the wind storm.

I enjoyed the sand dunes the most. I loved the textures. I could have shot them all trip long – as long as they were not trampled on.

Mesquite Dunes with black and white conversion by Nik

Mike’s tips for photographing historical structures:

1) I recommend looking at it from afar first and then moving in to see the micro details. Walk around it. Do a 360′ and maybe do it a couple of times. Look at it from different angles. The Union Pacific train gave us an opportunity to shoot through the windows.

2) Just shooting a rivet can be a dramatic shot. You can frame it and put it on the wall.

Shooting through train windows at Rhyolite Ghost Town

On Mike’s Horizon

Milan, Venice and Florence in Apri

Alaska

Banff

Olympic National Park

Portraits

Mike finding textures and details

Coming soon: Tom will be presenting online to 800 members of the Maryland Photography Alliance tonight. Maybe we will see you there! Also, this might be a good time to check our listings for 2023 and 2024 as workshops are already filling….

We are both off to Fairbanks for two Northern Lights Workshops. We will be out of the office and checking messages on the road. Hopefully we will get a few magnetic storms to light up the northern skies!

Enjoy your winter and thanks for reading our posts!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

Photo of the Month – December 2021

Tom and Cree Bol celebrate great images created on workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For December, we chose an image from White Sands National Park created by Julie Berryhill . We hope you enjoy Julie’s images as much as we do!

Congratulations to December 2021 ‘s featured photographer – Julie Berryhill

Julie in White Sands National Park

The Story … 

The sun had already set. Brian and I were wandering around and we set up our tripods really low. We pushed out the tripod legs and were on our bellies in the sand. It was really fun. We were down and dirty.

We were underexposing because we did not want to blow out the red channel. I was also using focus peaking. After Tom recommended it, I used it throughout the workshop. I would start by using auto focus and then switch to manual to engage the focus peaking. It shows what is in focus in red highlights.

For me the three important elements of the photo are the sand, the yucca and the sky. I used a low perspective to put the yucca higher in the sky. I also wanted to keep some of the sand in the foreground. But what the image is really about is the sky.

December 2021 Photo of the Month

I used the comparison mode in Lightroom to chose the best image. I was looking for the image with the best light in the sky. I didn’t crop the image at all. I was also looking for an image that was sharp. It was windy that day so I made sure that there was not any blur in the plants.

EXIF Data:

Nikon Z7 with 24-70mm lens shot at 34.5 mm

F11, 1/200 sec, ISO 400

Aperture Priority with focus peaking

About photographing at White Sands National Park

You think it is just about photographing sand. But it is amazing how many different shots you can get there.

One day it was windy and the backgrounds became almost impressionist. The down side of the wind is that you can’t easily change lenses in those conditions. The upside is that the wind erases all of the footprints there.

A windy day on the dunes

About the orange photo below: It was a windy evening and there were different things happening in each direction. I turned around from where we were shooting and took the shot. I got down low to get a different perspective of the sand.

Evening skies over the dunes

Using a speed light on the yucca was really fun. I am glad Tom showed us how to do it. I get intimidated by using flash. Flash gives it a whole different look, which I really liked.

Soap Tree Yucca in stormy skies illuminated with a speed light

Julie’s tips for photographing at White Sands National Park:

1) Bring two bodies if you have them. It is often difficult to change lenses because of the sand. This is especially true if you are shooting mirrorless.

2) Get the permit to enter the park early (available on the park website). That way there will not be people in the way.

3) Use focus peaking. It lets you see want will be in focus in the frame.


On Julie’s Horizon

Costa Rica in April

Back to Patagonia – the light is amazing and I love to hike

Eastern Europe – Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary

Julie and friends at White Sands

Space available on our next workshop in Bosque and White Sands – Nov 2023. Click here to learn more

Coming soon: Free Happy Hour in late January -all about the new Nikon Z9. In the meantime we will be off scouting Route 66 Oklahoma and Big Bend National Park. We just returned from Louisiana and have already posted our Louisiana Bayous and Birds.

Ready to travel and looking for a workshop? Space available on our Northern Lights in Fairbanks Workshop in March. Click here for more info. Want a warmer destination? Join us in Ecuador in 2023 to photograph birds in the highlands

Thanks for reading our posts and congratulations to Julie!

Tom and Cree

www.tombolphotoworkshops.com

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